Title: You Take It Off First
Author: Ephemeral Rainfall
Summary: In which Grimmjow and Ulquiorra attempt to take a shower. Together. With their clothes on.
Rating: T
Pairing: Guess
A/N: Meant to be up on GxU day, but I lost the flashdrive. Edit: Profanity uncensored.
Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine. Yet.

~After You~

The air was alight with the hum of descending darkness, riddled with the chirrup of crickets and the muted roar of civilization. The night held a gusty, serene, gray sky muffled by dense globules of plump clouds deceptively heavy with phantom rain. Ulquiorra Schiffer was seated beside the west-facing window in his apartment, said portal propped open by a stray paperweight, inclined just so to cordially allow in the faintest whisperings of a fall breeze but also hostilely slight enough to bar intruders of the winged variety.

A well-leafed textbook nestled upon his crossed legs, a notebook lined with dense legions of meticulous, minute lettering propped against one knee, Ulquiorra's eyes attentively trailed the 10-pt narration of the history of Socratic seminar, one finely-boned hand lifting to rift the page every so often, the other scratching diligently away, as the puffing wind rifled ghostly fingers through his hair.

Languidly, he began the delicate loop of a letter—SLAMonly to finish it in a jagged streak across the page.

"Jaegerjacques." Not bothering to look up at the nuisance that had just kickboxed open his window and sent his paperweight on an airborne expedition across the room, Ulquiorra irately picked up his eraser and began to work on eradicating the hideous mar on his notes.

"Ulquiorra," the other acknowledged in the same tone, teasingly. He didn't say anything else, just content to squat on the windowsill, the panes on either side of him flung wide open as wind and all sorts of unwelcome idlers flooded into the room, beginning with the thug on the window, triumphant trailblazer of petty annoyances.

The silence stretched between them broken only by the scritch of the pencil, the one seated on the floor refusing to give the one crouching on the ledge the benefit of a glance, the latter likewise waiting out the game of endurance.

Ulquiorra was perfectly content to continue on, and would have if not for the wet feeling beginning on his head and creeping down his nape. He snapped up and batted the mostly empty bottle out of the intruder's hands, patience gone, getting a good look at his uninvited guest.

Exasperatingly haughty expression rending his face, the cyan-haired male self-addressed as 'Grimmjow Goddamn Jaegerjacques' confidently leaned back on his haunches, chiseled chest exposed brazenly in his open navy blazer, speckled with darkened spots of rain, loose jeans slung disconcertingly low, rendering the expensive belt he sported nothing more than decoration. His name brand sneakers were crusted with a thin sheen of dirt that caked the whitewashed sill of the once spotless window, and from the slight outline of burgundy that ringed the bits of filth, Ulquiorra could tell that his uninvited caller had scaled the rusty drainpipe that always clogged. It was next to impossible to get a good hold on that moody contraption. He was touched, really, he was.

The other still had yet to say another word under the inspection, happy to grind his disgusting footwear against the ruined sanitation of white. Upon Ulquiorra's expectant frown, the insufferable grin widened.

The resident made a subtle cough.

Still nothing.

Ulquiorra could feel oncoming hints of frustration. It seemed like the delinquent hadn't quite comprehended his intentions.

"What are you doing?" he patiently clarified.

"What's it look like I'm doin'?"

"Trespassing. Shall I show you out?"

"Nah, s'okay. Just got here."

"…Why, exactly?"

"Need a place ta crash."

"Go to your own apartment."

"Can't. Left my keys at Carnie Hall." Figures, the idiot would do something like that even after Ulquiorra went to all the trouble to fasten his blasted articles to a proper lanyard and chain. Blue-haired buffoon had probably pawned it off to splurge on spray paint and other questionable substances.

If circumstances had been different, Ulquiorra might have been tempted to gloat, and then he'd proceed to boot the bastard out of the door and into the streets, laughing all the way. In retrospect, it was a very childish and unproductive notion, but Ulquiorra would allow himself this one mental indulgence: picturing Grimmjow as a half-drowned cat he'd kicked into the rain at leisure. But he couldn't do that; circumstances were circumstances. Real-life Grimmjow would pound and scream obscenities at his door until one or all of his elderly neighbors brought the law enforcement down on them, and he was already on their radar for a slew of small dismissible ridiculous things. Moronic senior generation, most of the things they still considered death sentence-worthy were now less than illicit.

…Wait…Ulquiorra realized something. Carnegie Hall and the entire surrounding campus was closed for the week…which meant the cretin wouldn't have his keys until after then…which meant that he was going to be a leech in Ulquiorra's life for a full seven days; 168 hours; 10,080 minutes.

At the rate of one inappropriate comment every five waking minutes, that meant…

…Bloody hell.

"Hey, you still in there?"

He knocked aside the hand in his face. "Of course I am. Remove yourself from my vicinity."

The hand retreated. "I'm crashin' here," Grimmjow said by way of explanation, toeing off his grimy shoes and depositing them at his previous seat. As if Ulquiorra hadn't already deduced as much. As if he had the right to determine so.




"Hell yea."

This was going to go on all night if he didn't do something, he knew from experience. "Why can't you bother Kurosaki? He lives closer to the university." Ulquiorra absentmindedly gathered the canoe-sized containers by their laces, unwittingly already displaying his acquiescence that his unsolicited company was here to stay.

Grimmjow noticed, and smugly grinned to himself, bending over his still-seated host. "Berry's got a big test comin' up. He needs to focus."

"I'm touched by your utter lack of concern for my academia."

"You can focus with me around. B'sides, he's outta town for the weekend visitin' family. You were there when he said as much."

Of course Ulquiorra knew. He had just…conveniently misplaced that tidbit of information.

Still, he wasn't going to welcome a wild brute into his home just because the dimwit had nowhere else to go. "Go find a hotel."

"No money." Ulquiorra had no retort to that. "Oh, now you're all quiet? Well, you could always lend me somethin', but I can't promise to pay ya back. Matter of fact, can't promise I'd leave either, I like it here." Grimmjow poked him in the leg with a bare toe. "Not that ya mind, a' course."

Folding his papers together with utmost endurance, the dark-haired student stood up after finally tiring of being wet, walking to the front entrance which normal people entered through and setting the soiled footwear onto the boot tray. He was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was he saturated, he was also sticky.

He faced the perpetrator. "Grimmjow. What did you pour on me?"

Again with that infernal grin.

"Whatdid you pour on me?"

A waggle of the eyebrows.

"I'm not going to ask you again."

The straggler held up the bottle, only the dregs of some clear-ish, faintly yellowed substance at the bottom of it. Between the perverse smile on his face and the wicked gleam in his eyes, Ulquiorra felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. The sick idiot.

"OW! Shit, what the fuck was that for?"

"You tell me, Jaegerjacques."

"It's just juice, I swear! Faggot! Ow, that hurt!"

"I was not the one leering like a psychopath."

"You take things too literal!"

"…You pour a dubious fluid down my back, stand there and smile like a maniac, and I'm not supposed to question your motives?"

"Fine, but ya gotta admit, that look on your face was—OW!" Grimmjow shoved Ulquiorra away by the shoulder. "Quit hitting me, I get it!"

"I thought you said I punched like a female?" Yes, that purple beltin jiujitsu completely supported that.

"No, I said you slap like a bitc—HOLYstop already!"

"Maybe that was feminine enough for you?"

"That's not a slap, idiot!" Grimmjow snatched both of the belligerent limbs. "You're real violent today."

"More reason for you to leave." Ulquiorra made no move to free his wrists.

A smirk thwarted all hope of that possibility. "Nah, I think I like this guy better than the holier-than-thou pole-up-his-ass bastard."

"…Let go."



Ulquiorra snapped his wrists roughly to the side, making Grimmjow's knuckles knock into the wall. With a curse, Grimmjow lost his hold, his hostage slipping to freedom.

Newfound liberty in hand, the shorter of the two was just about to make a clean getaway when a blockade intercepted his flight. Ulquiorra composedly stared down the forearm at his eyelevel, before his beryl gaze traced up the appendage to a pair of amused sapphires.

Grimmjow smirked at him.

"Whered'ya think yer goin'?"

"That is none of your business. Move."

"Innit?" He seemed genuinely perplexed otherwise, but nonetheless staged a theatrical glance behind him. "Bedroom, eh? What're you gonna do in there?"

Insufferable moron.

"Must be awful lonely in this empty asylum, huh?" his nuisance continued in that awful, drawling voice, suggestive tone coloring his words. "Wouldn't mind if I joined ya?"

Ulquiorra resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "If you must know, I'm going to wash off the substance you poured on me. Now move."

"Yeah, that sounds real fun, but how'm I gonna know you're not cuttin' or doin' some other emo bull in there?" Now he was just being stupid for the sake of being stupid.

"Because I'm not you. Move."

Instead of another dreadfullywitty line of boorishly constituted banter, Grimmjow's mouth produced a noise not unlike a rain-violated feline. Then Ulquiorra stopped himself at the thought of making a metaphor of the aggressive blue-headed lout before him to a domestic kitty.

Grimmjow seemed authentically miffed to be left alone. Grimmjow…the lone king…scared to be left alone…


"…Stop staring at me like that! Geez, you look like that Kuchiki shrimp when she sees rabbits," cyan eyes self-consciously shifted away from the confrontation. "…Actually," they rolled back to him, "I'm flattered. Really."

Brainless brute.

"Move your arm."

"It's not goin' anywhere, and neither are you. I'm gonna use yer bath fer a minute, don't wait up."

Ulquiorra frowned. Of all the—! "Grimmjow, I'm not going to stand here and wait with your juice all over me. You can—"

"That's what she said."

He almost got slapped for that, but since an open palm was not a usual method of assault for the shorter, he easily caught the blow. "Toldja ya slap like a bitch." Ulquiorra jerked his wrist free, indignation in his movement, and chose to ignore the comment.

"I'm taking a shower, Grimmjow, because it is my bathroom."

"I'm takin' a bath cuz I'm yer guest," came the cool retort.

"It is my bathroom."

"It's also your guest."

"You're a freeloader, Jaegerjacques."

"You're a wet blanket, Schiffer."

Ulquiorra had had enough. Not of insults, one would never stop at 'enough' with Grimmjow around, but of not being able to reach his bathtub. The collar of his shirt chafed at his skin, and his neck gummed discomfortingly whenever he moved. He attempted to duck under the arm of the infernal man once again, only to be met with another arm across his chest. How many arms did he have?

"I'll be quick, and then you can shower. Now let me pass."

"No. Your girly ass always uses up all the hot water, think I don't know that?" This was getting really bothersome.

"Grimmjow. I have classes in the morning. You can bathe while I'm gone then, alright?" Ulquiorra pushed at the limb, but it didn't budge.

"Ha ha. Nice try. I know yer classes are canceled this week too. Tryna ditch me, are ya?" How did Grimmjow know about that? Stalker.

"Nothing to say?" That smirk, all lethal angles and far too much teeth. As much as Ulquiorra denied it, the gesture made his insides lurch.

Nonetheless, he had been called out. For lack of retorts, Ulquiorra turned to voicing his rarely-heard thoughts. "Your expression is nauseating."

It grew, showing pink gums. "Charmed. We can't all be as pretty as you, Dollface."

"Call me that again," Ulquiorra threatened.

Grimmjow sniggered, and too late the shorter realized that the buffoon was probably tone-deaf. "If you insist, Dollface."

Ulquiorra elbowed him in the stomach and dashed into the bathroom. The green-eyed boy locked the door smugly as a variety of curses could be heard from the other side, a body slamming against the secured portal. Then he himself swore softly, cradling his tingling forearm. It felt like he had just jarred his nerves against a concrete wall.

The doorknob jiggled disconcertingly.

"Schiffer, you little bastard! I'm gonna wring your scrawny neck, you sunnuva killdeer, inbred three-toed sloth, and Portuguese Man-O'-War in a threesome—!" He stopped listening. If the dimwit placed all of his creative efforts fantasizing about various animal mating rituals into his drama club acting, he'd be halfway to Broadway by now.

Shaking his head, Ulquiorra smiled subtly at the flow of insults addressing the sexual preferences of his distant family, unbuttoning his shirt and preparing to slip into the shower. The slickness on his neck protested irately as he disdainfully peeled his collar from his skin.

The doorknob clicked.

Before Ulquiorra could register what had happened, he was shoved backwards by the invading blur, stumbling for a few embarrassing steps before he dropped backend first into the bathtub.

"Surprise!" Grimmjow chirped, both arms in the air as he roared with laughter.

Ulquiorra steadied himself, glaring hard. If that imbecile broke his lock—

"Relax, Dollface, I didn't break anything." He held up a pen center. "Took one try."

"Don't call me—," in that instant Ulquiorra realized that the other was no longer listening to him, his eyes instead intently fixated on—

Ulquiorra quickly yanked the shower curtain over.

The cerulean-eyed male snapped out of it and began chuckling. "Yer too easy, Schiffer!" With one fluid motion, he tore the curtain back, revealing Ulquiorra clumsily re-buttoning his shirt.

The shorter boy looked up, face flushed. "What are you doing in here?"

"Nope. Explain."

Ulquiorra didn't waiver. "Explain yourself first."

It wasn't like they hadn't seen each other shirtless before. It was just that…well…

Grimmjow's eyebrows furrowed. "Don't try lawyering me, Schiffer. What was that. Tell me."

In a last-attempt at distracting the sky-haired mongrel, Ulquiorra stood to his full height and glowered, effect lessened only slightly by the half-foot difference. "Jaegerjacques, what do you want from me? You climb into my home from the window like some thief at an ungodly hour—,"

"It's barely midnight."

"You drench me in juice—,"

"Only cuz you were ignoring me—,"

"You spout annoying things for no reason other than to be a pest—,"

"That hurts, Ulqui."

"And then you barge in while I'm trying to practice hygiene," Ulquiorra rattled off, having barely had to raise his voice the entire time to achieve the desired illusion of anger.

Grimmjow saw through it. "…Practice hygiene." He snorted. "What the hell are you, a children's dentist poster?" He took another step forward. "Nice try, but I know what I saw. The fuck was that?"

~Ladies First~

A/N: Curse my inability to write short things. Moar chapters shall follow, when depends on response. Was s'posed to be a one-shot…but I guess I need to explain their relationship first…

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